Victims of NSW helicopter-training flight crash
An teacher and trainee died last night after a helicopter crashed on a NSW Southern Highlands training flight.
The helicopter, a RobinsonR44, was performing flying training at Goulburn Airport about 167km southwest of Sydney when the accident occurred, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau statement (ATSB).
The bodies of Nicholas Brink, 36, and Andrew Goldman, 54, were found overnight during a search.
Mr Brink's employer, Hughes Helicopters, said in a statement that they were "overcome with sadness by the loss of our much-beloved colleague"
Mr Goldman was Victoria's Moira Shire councilor, identified by friends as a prominent community member.
The council said Mr Goldman's "greatly missed"
Yesterday's helicopter took off at 3pm.
In a statement to 9news.com.au, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said they were informed about the 7pm accident.
AMSA said its rescue helicopter was located around 8pm south-east of Marulan near Kingpin Mountain.
However, due to weather conditions, the rescue team was unable to land, forcing police to walk into the bushland.
Emergency services searched the thick bushland at the Hume Highway, finding the wreckage around 12.30am.
"Its in a fairly remote location, it took police several hours to locate the crash site last night due to the remoteness of the location and the terrain," said Deputy Chief Inspector Bernie.
"It's a terrible time for the victims families and we extend our condolences to the family and friends of the pilots," he said.
The crash's cause is still unclear.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating the crash with NSW Police, preparing a brief for the Coroner's records.
"On site, investigations will examine the aircraft wreckage and site surround. The ATSB will also examine accessible recorded data review records and interview parties involved," the ATSB said in a statement.
A preliminary report is expected to be published in the coming weeks before the inquiry ends with a final report.